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Do You Know These Two Integral Garden Traits?

By Laura Anderson

Has your garden been looking a little lacklustre lately? Perhaps you’ve been thinking of giving it a bit of a spruce, but the last time you did that it didn’t go quite as planned. Fear not, there are plenty of other people in a similar situation with their real estate. Even the greenest of thumbs can’t keep a garden going if they don’t know these two integral but oft-forgotten factors!

1) SOIL ACIDITY

Azaleas and rhododendrons would love acidic soil, while acacias prefer to be planted somewhere more alkaline.

You’ve kept them watered, given them the right amount of light and shade, even composted them perfectly and kept them free of pests, but your plants just still aren’t happy. What many people forget about their garden is that it isn’t just how nutritious your soil is, it’s about the relative acidity or alkalinity too. Azaleas and rhododendrons would love acidic soil, while acacias prefer to be planted somewhere more alkaline.

If you do find certain areas simply aren’t suitable for the plants you want, it might be worth to use these areas in a different way. Why not install a firepit, or even a gazebo? It doesn’t matter what the soil is like underneath these features! You can get a hold of soil testers from your local garden centre.

2) DRAINAGE

These are issues that far too many novice gardeners end up forgetting about.

Having too much heavy soil or clay in your garden can result in poor drainage, creating those horrible puddles that drown your poor plants. This is a primary indicator of too much clay, but you can also check by digging down and seeing if there is packed layer of clay, or alternatively check if there is any cracking during hot weather.

There are some plants that love living in clay soil, but there are alternative solutions if you don’t fancy of these. Raised beds are one solution, where you can dictate the parameters of your soil, or even do a little bit of domestic irrigation – it isn’t just for rural real estate. Digging little channels will divert the water away from your plants, but be careful not to overfertilise around them: the runoffs can harm the rivers and streams they eventually disappear into.

These are issues that far too many novice gardeners end up forgetting about and their garden suffers for it. Do yourself and your property a favour by checking out these two traits, and you might discover that you find keeping that garden green and verdant that much easier.

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